The field of human resources is constantly evolving. Professionals in this industry are given more diverse and strategic roles nearly every year. As a result, everyone working in this area of specialization or who is interested in being part of this profession have to be prepared to take on more duties.
If you are working as an HR professional, having the right set of skills will not only prepare you for any additional responsibilities; it will also propel your career.
Taking up the right HR training courses will allow you to learn and master the skills you need to advance in this field. Moreover, you can update your current competencies and be aware of any new ones you also need to work on.
Must-Have HR Skills
Although there are several skills all HR professionals need to master, there are seven that you should prioritize working on as soon as possible. These are:
Administrative and management skills
Office work is always part and parcel of human resources. Regardless of the department and role, you will have admin, and management tasks to do.
Some of the administrative duties you may handle include payroll, employee leave and absences, and the in- and outflow of employees.
You also have to be adept at various management duties, which include records and time management.
Records management covers managing documents and information, such as employment contracts, health insurance plans, and payroll. Aside from handling and filing the relevant paperwork, you have to oversee their digital formats as well.
Time management, on the other hand, means staying on top of all time-sensitive tasks. These include meeting deadlines for payroll computations, salary release, managing training schedules, and complying with relevant regulations.
Aside from learning how to use various programs to stay on top of your admin and management duties, you have to polish your organizational skills, which will help you with your records and time management tasks.
All HR professionals have to be well-rounded in various forms of communication. These cover verbal, written, and employee communication and active listening.
As an HR staff, you will be a representative of your employer. However, you also have to look after the welfare of all employees as well.
To be able to juggle these two responsibilities successfully, you need to have excellent communication skills.
Additionally, you also have to remember that one of your essential duties as an HR staff is being a source of information for employees. You have to answer any questions and issues that they will raise.
Having great communication skills will allow you to deal with their complaints effectively and give them satisfactory responses.
Lastly, strong written and verbal communication skills are vital to your success in the HR field. This is because you will constantly communicate with people at all levels, both inside and outside the company.
With the right skills, you will be able to communicate in a way that is relatable and clear to all people, regardless of their level or background.
As an advocate for both your employer and the employees, you have to be adept at building, strengthening, and maintaining the relationships between these two parties. Having exceptional employee relations skills will help you with this.
Employee relations skills include having the ability to identify and resolve employee concerns as they come up. It also covers labour disputes, managing employee benefits and perks, and other tasks that can help minimize conflicts in the workplace.
Additionally, you also have to be well-versed in developing workplace culture and cross-departmental collaboration, both of which also fall under the employee relations umbrella.
As an HR employee, you have to constantly collaborate with your co-workers. Moreover, you have to interact and work with the management and employees to come up with solutions and processes that all parties can agree on.
Because of this, you need to score high on collaboration and teamwork.
Having excellent communication and employee relations skills will help you have smooth working relationships with others. Being open-minded, focused toward change and growth, and having the ability to think long-term is also crucial for collaborating well with everyone in your organization.
As already mentioned, the field of human resources is continuously evolving. Changes are constantly being introduced in various processes, industry standards, and even laws.
You have to know how to deal with and adjust to these changes when they happen.
Being an expert in big-picture thinking is an adaptability skill that you have to work on. Having the ability to forecast the need for changes can help you contribute to planning effective strategies and making smarter decisions.
Change management is another proficiency that you have to master. As an HR staff, you should know when it is time to update old policies and create new ones. You also have to be read to help employees embrace these changes.
Recruitment, selection, and onboarding
Sourcing and hiring the most qualified candidates for your company is a talent that all HR professionals should work on. You have to know how and where to find the ideal applicants, select the best, and ascertain if they fit in the company culture and will work well with the other employees.
Additionally, onboarding is another skill that you need to master, as well. This pertains to the process of helping new hires adjust to the social and performance aspects of their new job smoothly.
Employee turnover is costly and stressful. You can reduce the number of people leaving your company when your HR team has a good onboarding strategy.
Lastly, all HR professionals have to be tech-savvy to go far in their careers. At the very least, you need to be computer literate and have knowledge in data analysis and projection.
You also need to have some knowledge about using HRIS or Human Resources Information Software and other programs HR professionals use to store and manage data securely and help automate activities.
Aside from being a requirement of your job, your workload will be lighter and more efficient if you can incorporate them into your daily activities. This program allows HR activities and processes to occur electronically, making the workload lighter and more efficient for HR professionals.
Aside from HRM software programs, you will do well to be knowledgeable in using communication and collaboration tools.
When learning and mastering these skills in your training courses, remember to apply them in your work regularly as well. By doing so, you will be able to master them faster, which will help you achieve your career goals quicker.
Jerrin Samuel is the Executive Director at Regional Educational Institute (REI) in Abu Dhabi. Since 1995, REI has been at the forefront of education by delivering quality corporate training courses in the UAE, helping many businesses and organizations achieve greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction levels.